In The Spotlight

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Pat Logan has sung as a second soprano in the New York City Labor Chorus for the past 10 years. The last time she had sung in an organized group was in elementary school, and she "missed it a lot." When Debra E. Bernhardt, the person who hired her at the Tamiment Library at NYU and who was a chorus member at the time suggested she join the Labor Chorus, Pat hesitated. Pat was afraid she would have a difficult time learning the words because she is blind, but Deborah offered to copy out the words, and Chorus director Geoffrey Fairweather was fun and supportive, so she joined. "It gives you a sense of solidarity, of empowerment, being part of a huge team when you open your mouth and a great wall of sound comes out."

She was born in New York City and raised in Queens. Her parents were not musical. Her father was in the Port Authority Police and her mother worked for the Post Office. Pat went to New York City public schools, except for 4 1/2 years in elementary school when she went to the Lavelle School for the Blind in the Bronx and, incidentally, sang in the chorus. After high school, she went to New York University, where she graduated with a degree in psychology.

Pat explains that she was a premature baby and became blind when she received too much oxygen in the incubator. She always goes on and off-stage with another member of her section. Before the chorus started using e-mail for communication she had a much harder time getting information about performances.

Pat describes herself as an activist. She has always been political, going to peace marches against the Vietnam War, but she became more involved during the 1990's as a result of study groups with Radical Women and the Freedom Socialist Party. She is active with CISPES (the Committee in Solidarity With the People of El Salvador) and with School of Americas Watch NYC, and has been part of the annual protest to shut down the School of the Americas at Fort Benning, Georgia 7 times since 1998. Pat is also involved with radio station WBAI and is planning to run for the local station board. She asks her WBAI member friends to consider voting for her.

Pat loves singing in the Chorus. Not being in a union, she feels the best way for to express solidarity is being with the Labor Chorus, as well as supporting the Graduate Student Organizing Committee that is struggling at NYU. She really hopes the chorus will do more singing in schools and youth-oriented events because youth today don't learn much about unions.